If you’re like me, the news that Borders is closing hundreds of its stores was sad news, almost as sad as the news last semester of Davis-Kidd’s demise. When I saw that my favorite Borders had escaped the chopping block, I vowed to go and buy some books in support.
So last Saturday, on my way home from Alabama, I stopped at Borders to fulfill my promise. And I was reminded of why we all suffer if we let bookstores die.
Although I have a lengthy Amazon list, I didn’t have the titles, or more important, the authors’ names with me as I shopped. Although the salespeople would have looked them up in an instant, I felt more like browsing, especially since the latest The Decemberists CD, “The King is Dead,” was playing in the background.
And I found two books. Okay, now for those who know me, this is not a big deal. I can find books I want to read almost everywhere. But what was so exciting about this visit was that neither book was on any list that I keep: not on Amazon, not in my notebook where I jot down titles that friends are reading or that get good reviews. In fact, I found these in the religions section, titles that would never have come up on my Amazon recommendations.
Besides hanging out with fellow book lovers, bookstores provide us with us with the chance of the unexpected meeting. Online bookstores are great at listing our likes and giving us recommendations. But that unexpected find is something that the computer can’t give us and shouldn’t be expected to.
So this week, support your local bookstore and find an unexpected treasure that’s just waiting for you.